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Millionaire Hot Seat
Also known as Hot Seat
Genre Game show
Presented by Eddie McGuire
Theme music composer Ramon Covalo
Composer(s) Ramon Covalo
Keith Strachan
Matthew Strachan
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 1,316 (as of 16 October 2015)
Location(s) GTV-9 Melbourne, Victoria (2009-2010)
Docklands Studios Melbourne (2011-present)
Running time 30 minutes (with commercials)
Production company(s) 2waytraffic
Original network Nine Network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 20 April 2009 – present
Preceded by Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
1 vs. 100
External links
Question Value
1 $100
2 $200
3 $300
4 $500
5 $1,000 (Safe money)
6 $1,500
7 $2,500
8 $4,000
9 $6,000
10 $10,000
11 $20,000
12 $50,000
13 $100,000
14 $250,000
15 $1,000,000

Millionaire Hot Seat, also known as Hot Seat, is an Australian television quiz show. The show is a spin-off of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? which began airing on the Nine Network on 20 April 2009. As with the original version of the show, it is hosted by Eddie McGuire and follows a similar format.


Rumours about a new shortened version of Millionaire first began circulating in February 2009,[1] and were confirmed when the Nine Network produced a pilot version of the format titled Millionaire: Russian Roulette in March 2009.[2] The official title was announced as Millionaire Hot Seat,[2] but this was later shortened to simply Hot Seat.[3] The new format was originally promoted as a short-run series,[4] with advertisements featuring McGuire exclaiming "20 nights! 20 million dollars!".[4] It was announced on 7 April 2009 that Hot Seat would begin airing on 20 April 2009 in the 5:00 pm6:00 pm weeknight timeslot[5][6] and would compete against the high-rating game show, Deal or No Deal, on the Seven Network.[5][6] As expected, the show's format was shortened to 30 minutes and given an overhaul of the rules and gameplay, in a system based on the Italian version of the show.

The Nine Network commissioned a second series of the show, to begin airing the week after the original 20-episode order had finished airing on 15 May 2009.[7] The second series began airing on 18 May 2009.[7]

A special prime time edition of Hot Seat aired at 8:00 pm on Monday, 8 June 2009,[8] featuring a contestant, Barry Soraghan, playing for the format's first million-dollar question.[9] Ultimately, Soraghan answered the question incorrectly, and won only $1,000.[9] At the completion of the taped episode, Soraghan was visited live on air at his Blackburn home by McGuire,[9] who then awarded him a two-week holiday for him and his family, as well as $5,000 in spending money.[9] The episode achieved a ratings figure of 1,224,000 viewers nationally,[10] and was the eleventh-highest rating program for the night,[10] which was a vast improvement from the 812,000 viewers that Hot Seat managed in its regular timeslot on the same night.[10]

Hot Seat was originally filmed in the iconic Studio 9 at the GTV9 Richmond premises, however as of February 2011, it has been filmed at GTV9's new home at Docklands Studios Melbourne. The show's 500th episode went to air on 3 August 2011; that day's contestant winning $100,000.

On 15 August 2011 the four remaining couples from the 2011 season of The Block appeared on the show, attempting to win $1,000,000 for charity. But the final couple in the hot seat faltered on the seventh question. The last couple won only $1,000 for their charity.

On 3 October 2011, a The Farmer Wants a Wife special went to air, ahead of the final that was to air later that night. Farmer Frank, the last contestant in the Hot Seat, had a chance to win $100,000 for his charity but lost, winning only $1,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors Services.

On 27 July 2012, Hot Seat stopped airing for the London 2012 Olympic Games until 13 August 2012.

A local version will air exclusively for Western Australian viewers starting in 2014.[11]

On 2 June 2014, Hot Seat celebrated its 1,000th episode. In this episode, that day's contestant Janine won $50,000. In addition, McGuire called back all the contestants telling them they each won $1,000 for appearing on its 1,000th episode.

On 16 March 2015 the top prize of $20,000 jackpotted to $541,000 and was won by Gerard Lane from Victoria, Australia.

On 13 April 2015, Hot Seat had its first revamp since it launched in 2009. The intro was slightly changed, a new set with higher resolution LED screens was introduced and new graphics using the Eurostile font. A new lifeline was also added for the final question, the Switch lifeline. The constant on the final question could use it to change the final question to another one of the same value. This lifeline was dropped after the 8 May 2015 episode, but was reinstated for episodes airing between 21 and 25 September of the same year.


Designed to be a faster-paced game than the traditional format, Hot Seat essentially involves six contestants playing each episode, with each taking turns. The traditional three lifelines are replaced by a single "pass", which can pass the current question to the next contestant in line (who cannot pass the question further). Each question is also given a time limit, with 15 seconds allocated for the first five questions, 30 for the middle five, and 45 for the last five. If a player fails to give out an answer in the time limit, it is considered an automatic pass. If that question cannot be passed on, that player is eliminated and the highest value available is reduced to the next highest amount. The money tree is given a total renovation (see right), with all amounts between $1,000 and $1,000,000 (not inclusive) reduced, and the 10th question milestone is removed. If one of the contestants answers a question incorrectly, they are eliminated, they leave with nothing, and the highest value remaining on the money tree is removed.

If the first contestant answers the first five questions correctly, they are awarded an additional $1,000.

The game ends either when all contestants are eliminated or when the question for the highest value in the money tree is answered. If this last question is answered correctly, the answering player receives the amount of money. If it is answered incorrectly or not answered in time, the last player to be eliminated receives either nothing (which means that nobody receives any prize money for that show), or $1,000 if the 5th question milestone is reached. No final contestant has ever gone away empty-handed.

In one episode, a contestant gave an answer to the final question, but McGuire told the contestant that she had not answered it in time and checked with the producers to see whether this was a "pass" or she was to be awarded $1,000. While the decision was being made, the contestant insisted that she had two seconds left on the clock. In the end, the contestant won $1,000.[12]

In another episode, one of the contestants waiting in line had to leave the show due to family reasons. At the time, the $1,000,000 top prize was still in play. That contestant came back a few weeks later, leading to a $250,000 win by contestant Dave Bowyer. Contestants who do not get the chance to answer questions are often invited back a few weeks later.

During the second half of 2011, audio and visual questions were introduced to the format. Either an audio or a visual question would be asked once per episode, usually towards the beginning of the game.

As part of the 2015 revamp, the Switch lifeline was added for contestants on the final question, allowing the contestant to switch to a different question if they were unhappy with it. This feature was soon dropped on 8 May 2015, but was brought back for a week of episodes from 21 to 25 September of the same year.

As part of the 2015 revamp, the Ask a Friend lifeline was added in for contestants. Similar to the Phone a Friend lifeline in the traditional format, the contestant is able to ask their designated friend or family member in the audience to help them answer the question. Before the player can use the lifeline, they must answer three consecutive questions after the $1000 'safe level'. The feature was added for a week of episodes from 14 to 18 September 2015.

Table of international versions[edit]

There have been 12 different versions of Millionaire Hot Seat since the original Australian version debuted.

Countries/regions Title Host Network Top prize Premiere
Arab League Arab world المليونير - الحلقة الأقوى
El milyoner - Elhalka elaqwa [13]
Maysa Maghrebi Dubai TV Dhs.1,000,000 17 April 2013
 Chile ¿Quién quiere ser millonario?: Alta tensión Diana Bolocco
Sergio Lagos
Canal 13 CL$120,000,000 6 January 2011
 Colombia ¿Quién quiere ser millonario? Silla Caliente
Only with celebrity contestants
Paulo Laserna Phillips RCN CO$300,000,000 3 episodes aired in 2013
 Denmark Hvem vil være millionær Alle mod alle Hans Pilgaard TV2 1,000,000Kr 2 episodes aired in 2009
 Ecuador ¿Quién quiere ser millonario? Alta tensión Estéfani Espín Ecuavisa US$100,000 1 July 2012
 Greece Millionaire Hot Seat Yannis Zouganelis Skai TV 100,000 29 October 2014
 Hungary Legyen Ön is milliomos! - felpörgetve Sándor Fábry RTL Klub 40,000,000Ft March, 2010
 India (Hindi) Kaun Banega Crorepati Hot Seat Amitabh Bachchan Sony TV 10,000,000 2010
 Italy Chi vuol essere milionario? – Edizione Straordinaria Gerry Scotti Canale 5 1,000,000 15 December 2008
 Indonesia Who Wants To Be a Millionaire Hot Seat Ferdi Hasan RCTI Rp.500,000,000 13 September 2010
 Norway Vil du bli millionær? Hot Seat Sarah Natasha Melbye TV2 1,000,000Kr 2009/10
 Portugal Quem quer ser milionário? Alta Pressão José Carlos Malato RTP 1 100,000 5 July 2010
 Spain ¿Quién quiere ser el millonario? Núria Roca laSexta 100,000 15 February 2012
 Ukraine Мільйонер - Гаряче крісло
Milyoner - Garyache Krislo
Vladimir Zelenski Inter 1,000,000 15 February 2011
 Vietnam Ai Là Triệu Phú - Ghế nóng Lại Văn Sâm VTV3 ₫120,000,000 7 September 2010


  1. ^ Knox, David (17 February 2009). "Rumour: A new look Millionaire?". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Knox, David (20 March 2009). "Eddie locks in Millionaire". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Knox, David (14 April 2009). "‘Millionaire’ not locked in for Eddie". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Knox, David (6 April 2009). "Millionaire: "20 nights! $20M!"". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Knox, David (7 April 2009). "Game on. It’s Eddie v Andrew". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Devlyn, Darren (8 April 2009). "Eddie McGuire and Andrew O'Keefe to go head to head". Herald Sun. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Knox, David (1 May 2009). "More Hot Seat for Eddie". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  8. ^ Knox, David (5 June 2009). "Hot Seat goes primetime, for now.". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d Deery, Shannon (9 June 2009). "Barry Soraghan misses million". Herald Sun. Retrieved 11 June 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b c Knox, David (8 June 2009). "Week 24". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  11. ^ Nine Perth announces local content, TV Tonight, 9 December 2013
  12. ^ Knox, David (4 July 2009). "Lock it in, Eddie". tvtonight.com.au. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "بالصور.. ميساء المغربي تقدم "من سيربح المليون" بدلا عن جورج قرداحي!". جريدة نورت. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millionaire_Hot_Seat — Please support Wikipedia.
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